UConn notifies students to return from Italy amid virus

STORRS, Conn. (AP) — The University of Connecticut has notified its students studying abroad in Italy that they must return to the U.S. as soon possible in light of new guidance provided by federal health officials concerning the COVID-19 virus.

In a letter released Saturday to the UConn community, school officials said UConn is also canceling all official travel to Italy. UConn is the latest school to take such actions.

UConn currently has more than 300 students participating in overseas academic programs in 29 nations, including 88 in Italy, one in South Korea and two who turned around before making it to South Korea, a school spokeswoman said. All of the students in Italy and South Korea will be returning to UConn, the school officials said. The University has no students in China or Iran for academic programs at this time.

Those students returning to UConn from overseas will be provided online and remote learning opportunities.

“The health and safety of our UConn students and employees is our highest priority. Please rest assured that working in collaboration with our state and local health departments, we feel prepared to respond to any cases of COVID-19 that might present themselves on our campuses or at UConn Health,” school officials said in Saturday’s announcement.

To date, there have been no cases of COVID-19 reported in Connecticut or at UConn.

The federal Centers for Disease Control recommended on Friday evening that Americans avoid all nonessential travel to Italy and Iran, noting there is limited access to adequate medical care in areas affected by the virus.

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